Showing posts from January, 2011

Random January

    Big deadline tomorrow (about which more shall be revealed later this week) combined with an irritated shoulder makes this Random post a little short. Before I get going on the link-o-rama, I’d like to respond to a couple of comments from a couple of recent posts. Thanks for regarding who suggested alternate names for Gilbert/Ramona – I haven't had a chance to run them by him/her yet, but will keep you posted on the progress. And to Tine Beest who offered to research how to find out the sex of a dragon, I can say nothing by thank you and if you seriously want to spend your time on this, I am more than happy to wait until May - the idea that there may be information on this in Chinese medical text (which I assume is what the Materia Medica is) has me agog with curiosity. In respect to the vagueness about the agency that is messing with my life , Julie asked if I could give more details to enhance understanding. Unfortunately not right now, perhaps in future and yes, I am con

In Motion

   And then there are the people who make your life easier. My wheelchair has for some time been in need of a new motor. There's an odd clunking noise coming from the vicinity of my right rear wheel when I drive and this week it was finally time to get it done. While I was there, we’d take a look at it very puzzling issue that means I have to turn on my wheelchair twice before it wants to go - we tried replacing pretty much everything, but it still persists. The theory was that it was related to the right motor. I've lived in Toronto for almost 30 years and since the very beginning, I've chosen Motion Specialties for repairs, equipment, etc.. 30 years ago, it was a small family business and although it is now larger and more successful, it still has the feel of a small family business. Most of the staff have been there for years, even decades and they do the job because they're passionate about helping people like myself get on with their lives. Although I like eve

The New RA Criteria: An Interview with Dr. Gillian Hawker

    This is a very cool time in the field of rheumatology: "One of the many exciting recent developments in the field of rheumatology was last year's development of new criteria. There's been much discussion of these criteria here on MyRACentral so to learn more, I interviewed Dr. Gillian Hawker, who was part of the working group that created the criteria." The rest of the interview is here .   

Game Theory

    Okay, I admit it. I'm cranky as hell. It all started with that "medical professional" to which I referred earlier this month – y’know, the one that wrecked me by not respecting my boundaries. And although I am much better than I was, the emotional fallout has been somewhat significant. It's funny… well, not funny ha-ha and not quite funny peculiar, but I've been thinking about anger, more specifically about the angry stage of grief. I have gone from bad to worse enough times that I am intimately familiar with the grieving that has to be done when you lose yet another ability. But this one was different. In this one, I went from ridiculously well to totally screwed up and I remember thinking more than once that it helped me better understand the feelings experienced by someone who goes from being healthy to getting a diagnosis of chronic illness. It's a different kind of anger, not more or less - whether you go from healthy to not or from messed up to mo


   A little while ago, we went to the ROM to see the terra-cotta warriors from China and along the way, discovered that something else had come along with the exhibit. Specifically, something looking for a forever home: – a nest of dragons.   There was much hemming and hawing, but one in particular attached itself to us and we had no choice. Especially since its name became crystal clear as we were making the adoption arrangements: Gilbert. Before going home, we took Gilbert to see his ancestors from a different branch of the family tree He was very excited When we came home, we introduced Gilbert to Lucy and after an initial meet and greet, they've mostly ignored each other Gilbert made himself a nest along my couch, next to Lucy's perch (the arm of the couch under the green towel) and they snooze happily together, yet apart .    In an interesting twist, within 24 hours Gilbert started emitting a decidedly different vibe, which claimed that his name was Ra

Sticks in Snow


Parallel Reality

    The first time I realized just how different my reality was from that of other people was several years ago when I was recounting a visit to my rheumatologist to a couple of friends. I talked about how one of the assessment tools she used in the physical exam was to press on the sides of the middle joint of my fingers and I forget exactly how it came about, but my friends told me it wasn't normal that this hurt. And I had one of those moments where the world comes to a screeching halt, complete with that needle across-a-record sound and I looked at them, gobsmacked. Really?? Really, they said. And then I squeezed the sides of the middle joint on their fingers and they kept telling me it didn't hurt and I don't think I really believed them, because of course it hurts. This had been the way it had always been for me and although I knew that other people didn't have swollen joints or that particular bone grinding pain, this small aspect of my reality had never registe

Decision, Results and... Bookclub?

    Last week, I was trying to make a decision about something important and had the hardest time. The Boy and I was hashing it through, talking pros and cons, imagining different scenarios - well, I was hashing, he was asking gentle questions and probably enjoying watching me spin crazily like a hamster on speed. After a protracted discussion monologue, he told me about this very cool decision-making aid. To wit: it is said - in this case by The Boy, although he mentioned having heard it elsewhere - that when you flip a coin to make a decision, the minute the corn leaves your hand, you know which side you want it to land on, knowing that if it falls on the other side, you'd want to do best two out of three. And when he said that, I knew what my decision had to be. It turns out that posting a blog entry in which you ask your readers to pick a book for your works much the same way. The minute I posted, I knew which book I wanted to read first. Not surprisingly, knowing my predilec



What You Need: Planning Your Future with RA

    It's January and that means my inner planner has come out to play. This week, I inflict it on the hapless users of MyRACentral: "There you are, a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis ringing in your head and a prescription for scary sounding medication in your hand. You been told that this disease cannot be cured, only controlled and that it will be with you for the rest of your life. It's enough to make anyone dizzy. Will it take away your dreams and swallow up your life or is it possible to live around it?" You can read the rest of the post here . p.s. want to plan my immediate future? Vote for my next book to read/review.   

Pick My Book

    I have a lot of audio books. I'm not quite at the book version of SABLE - Stash Acquisition beyond Life Expectancy, for the non-knitters among you - but getting there and it's time to do some stash diving. More specifically, it's time to get a bit edified by choosing something nonfiction. But which one? A couple of years ago, I did a little experiment and it was a lot of fun, so I thought I'd do it again. I'm going to list five of my top candidates for next nonfiction book to read, ask you to vote in the comments and then read and review the book that gets the most votes. Ready? Abigail Adams  by Woody Holton. I've posted before about my reaction to John Adams , the  HBO miniseries - I enjoyed it thoroughly and learned a lot. One of the things I learned was that I wanted to know more about Abigail Adams. She was her husband’s equal partner and staunch supporter, frequently acknowledged by him as being the smarter of the two. Had things been different, s


    Recently, I had the unmitigated joy of meeting a new medical professional. As part of this meeting, a bit of an assessment of my upper body - particularly shoulders and neck -was deemed necessary. I made sure I did my usual thing, told them that due to various injuries, damages and fibromyalgia, they ought to treat me like a rotten egg (it’s a handy shortcut description). I furthermore invoked Rule: #2 that I trot out whenever anyone is in a position to lay hands on me, namely that should they wish a part of my body - say an arm, a leg, etc. - to be moved into a particular position, ask me and I'll do it, as when other people move my limbs for me, it's easy to take the movement beyond my boundary, which will hurt for days. And now for the interactive part of this post, in which you get to guess how well that went. Your first clue is that aforementioned "unmitigated joy" may have been sarcasm. I had to twice reiterate that bits of me should not be encouraged to m

Leaf on Salty Sidewalk


Book Review: Full Dark, No Stars

   Stephen King has another book out and naturally, I got my hands on it within hours of it being available. I waited until my vacation to dive into it, though - exactly until my vacation. One minute past midnight on December 17, I dropped the more serious, "literary" book I'd been reading and picked up Full Dark, No Stars . This isn’t just one story, it's four novellas and they push the envelope more than King normally pushes the envelope, which is to say quite a bit. In his Afterword, King talks about how he likes putting ordinary people in extraordinary situations in this book is very much about that, except this time it is (for the most part) without the interference of things that go bump in the night. These are stories about what happens to people who commit extreme deeds or who experience extreme/extraordinary events and what happens within them afterwards. King also mentions in the Afterword that he likes fiction that is "propulsive" and &